Reneé Seward, Founder, See Word Design
Reneé Seward graduated from the Graphic Design program at the University of Cincinnati in 2002. Today she is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Communication Design program at UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She has used her design and research skills to launch See Word Design, a company that focuses on developing digital and physical tools that seek to address society’s literacy problem.
How did the company come about?
I worked through the university’s Venture Lab at the 1819 Innovation Hub. They gave me funding and an EIR (Entrepreneur-in-Residence) who helped me see how the technology could be launched into a company. Her name is Nancy Koors and we are now co-founders.
How did you come up with the idea for the technology?
I was in graduate school and the son of one of my good friends was having problems learning due to dyslexia. He hypothesized for himself that the reason he couldn’t learn and pass was because of the layout of the page. I thought that if I could use my skills as a graphic designer to help him get over these hurdles, I was all for it. I began researching the idea. While it wasn’t the page layout that was the issue, I did realize that there are strategies that can be used to teach learning skills.
I worked with a lot of schools to identify issues and I created tools that they then tested. I was able to create my first product called See Words School that is targeted to pre-K. From that technology we worked forward, creating a new product called See Words Anywhere that is targeted to any age group.